Friday, October 5, 2012

2012 Bourbon Chase

The Speakeasies.  Four for four. 

The Bourbon Chase (sponsored by Brooks) is an overnight relay event that sees teams of 12 runners (6 runners per two vans) leapfrogging one another from just outside of Bardstown KY all the way to Lexington following the backroads of Kentucky's historic Bourbon Trail.  Each person races three segments each for a total of 36.  Following a year of doing battle with the Speakeasies,  Haulin' Oats (my team from last year) joined forces with them for this year's edition of the Chase.  This is my fourth year running it, and it's the fourth year that the Speakeasies have won.  The Bourbon Chase is hands down the most fun and challenging race that I do all year.  These eleven guys and the two drivers are amazing.  It was tight for the first rotation of 12 runners with runner-up team Runnin' a Still, but late in the night, experience took over and the gaps grew at most every checkpoint (well, not following my legs - their guy that I had to race against as the #6 hammered me every time - he blew my doors off going to Maker's Mark and brought back at least two minutes every other leg - OUCH).   See leg maps and comments below.  While not quite as fast as I hoped to be, my contributions were strong times, consistency and a wealth of know-how from having raced this course three times prior (I've been a leg  2, 7, 1, and now 6).  For anyone that hasn't had the opportunity to run a relay event, it's a blast.  Don't judge by my frowny mutt chops in the picture - I was just too tired to smile.  

 Leg 6 started with me getting the baton (slap bracelet) about 30 seconds in front of the #6 man from Running a Still.  I went out way to hard trying to hold him off, and when he shouldered up to me, he calmly said hello and good job and then motored by.  I went with him for a couple of miles then completely imploded.  So much for consistency and know how, huh?  I knew enough to simply let his little blinky light vanish into the night and concentrate on getting myself back together.  I just tried to limit the damage and got myself to Maker's Mark without incident.
Leg 18 was much less exciting in terms of topography and competition.  It was a straight shot all the way into Danville and I had a few minute cushion on my new nemesis.  Running my own pace, it was back to what felt more familiar in the Bourbon Chase - picking off runners and in control.  5:50's felt better.  After a very short cool down, I found my guy jogging around.  He had been running 5:20's.
The final segment for me was the net vertical loss of 6.4 miles into Woodford Reserve Distillery.  At this point we had built a pretty sizable lead on the next closest team and I enjoyed picking off about 30 - 40 "road kills"  (the slowest seeded teams start first thing Friday morning and the fastest start about eleven hours later so the faster runners are catching people all the time, hence the name road kills).  I felt strong and enjoyed the rowdy crowds of Woodford.  By that point in the event, people are getting pretty loopy and it's a really gorgeous place to drop in to.

By early Saturday afternoon we were safely in Lexington and in less than 20 hours (with a mile wrong turn!).  The Speakeasies rocked it, and I was honored to be a part of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment